There’s something very cool about meeting the people who grow your food. Spend some time chatting it up with the vendors at your farmer’s market and get to know them. Ask them about their farm and how they grow their food or raise their animals and you will really learn a lot. If their faces glow with pride and you can’t shut them up you have a winner. If they are grumbly and don’t have a lot to say tell them thanks and move on.
Lots of times you will have access to foods that you won’t normally find at your grocery store. For example on my recent visit I got a bag of micro greens that are just amazing. A pinch or two on my salad adds a whole new element. If you see something and don’t know what the heck it is then ask them about it and ask how they would prepare it. I also got some organic pastured raw milk kiefer blue cheese that is out of this world and is a quality probiotic to boot.
I was at my grocery store the other day and they had organic tomatoes from California so when do you think they were picked? At the farmer’s market you know your food is local and picked within a day or so or even that morning. You don’t have to think about the carbon emissions created trucking your food hundreds or even thousands of miles.
Also, the person that grew your food gets most of your money instead of the grocery store. When we shop at the grocery store, only about $.16 of our money goes to the farmer. The rest is eaten up by marketing costs, transportation costs, and other overhead like electricity, lease, payroll etc.
Most important of all the food simply tastes better. Do some comparisons and see for yourself. I remember last fall I was getting apples from my farmer’s market. They were a smaller farm and couldn’t afford to pay the costs to get certified organic but they used organic farming methods. These were some of the best tasting apples I have ever had. I couldn’t make it one weekend so I got the same apple variety from Whole Foods. I paid twice as much for organic apples that came all the way from Washington State and they didn’t come close in taste.
Another great thing about the farmer’s market is that it’s outside so you get some fresh air while you walk around. Get some extra rays of sun and soak up a little vitamin D.
Here’s a list of what I purchased to give you an idea of the cost:
- Organic pastured goat stew meat 2.5lb $15 (see my goat curry recipe if you’re not sure what to do with this)
- Organic pastured raw milk Kiefer blue cheese $9
- Organic pastured hot Italian sausage 1lb $8.5
- Organic basil $2
- Organic cilantro $2
- Organic mixed salad greens $3
- Organic dandelion greens $2
- Organic pastured duck eggs $7
- Organic summer squash $4
- Organic blueberries quart $5
- Organic micro greens $2
- Organic red kale $3
- Organic rainbow Swiss chard $3
- Organic garlic with scape $1.5
The good news is farmers markets are popping up all over the place. I remember a few years ago it was really inconvenient for me to go and now they seem to be everywhere a few days a week.
So if you haven’t been give it a try and let me know about your experience!